Thursday, February 18, 2010

Valentines Day and Gifts for the Future

Early last Sunday, February 14th Valentines Day, my grandson Hawaiki appeared at our bedside, bleary eyed there I was expecting the usual request “read book now Nan” but no it was “ring here are Nan” as he held out his pointing middle finger with the offer of a gold ring on it. I accepted his generous gift of love and popped it on my finger. We lay snuggled up and gave thanks for such wonderful things… and read several books.

Later in the morning I said to his Dad, “that sure was a beautiful gift Hawaiki gave me for Valentines Day this morning” he looked a little surprised that his 2year old son had succeeded where he had not and said “Oh really what was that?” and I replied “Your wedding ring!’ which I promptly slid off my finger on to his. “Well that was high on my dressing table!!” Some children will go to great lengths or heights to give fabulous gifts.

This led me to reflect on the exercise some of us had done at the Early Childhood Futures Forum hosted by the Early Education Federation last week and that was to write an epitaph for Early Childhood Education in Aotearoa New Zealand. It was a task to help us focus on what we want for our children and the future.

The gift may not be the gold ring – in this case it was the cuddle, warm and close and the opportunity to share breath and ideas.

What gifts are we giving our children in early childhood education in New Zealand? What will our mokopuna give us back?

If ECE died tomorrow what would be its epitaph?

Please feel free to write an eptitaph and share it here on our blog.

Mine went like this;

Early Childhood Education in New Zealand

Was good

Was kind

Was inspiring

Was the initial narrative of self

Was lifelong

And we belonged

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